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The Wall Street Journal reports:
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta defended his government-plane trips to his California home Monday, but said he regretted the cost to taxpayers—about $870,000—at a time when the Pentagon faces billions of dollars in spending cuts.
“I regret that it does … add costs that the taxpayer has to pick up,” Mr. Panetta said, adding he is looking at alternatives that could save money.
Since becoming defense secretary on July 1, Mr. Panetta has made 29 trips home to Carmel, Calif., where his wife lives on their walnut farm. Mr. Panetta has three grown sons and six grandchildren, most of whom also live in California.
Mr. Panetta has reimbursed the government about $630 per round trip, or about 2% of the $30,000 cost to taxpayers per trip.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand wanting to go home. But costing taxpayers almost 1 million dollars in a time of financial crisis to do so is utterly unacceptable.
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